On Friday, the Department of Education announced the first disbursement of State Stabilization funds to California. This disbursement amounted to almost $4 billion dollars, available to “lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs at risk.” To receive these funds, California committed to tracking details including:
- quality of classroom teachers
- annual student improvements
- college readiness
- effectiveness of state standards and assessments
- progress on removing charter caps
- interventions in turning around under-performing schools
- jobs created/saved, and more.
However, other states are questioning how they will support the required level of tracking. According to an Associated Press article, the governor of Nebraska, on Friday, told lawmakers it expects to spend more than $1.2 million over two years to oversee disbursement of about $1.5 billion. Colorado has also raised concerns that money has not been allocated to help keep up with spending requirements.
The signs continue to point to the fact that stimulus disbersements will not flow as quickly or smoothly across the country as desired. On the negative side, the recovery funds may not have the short-term stimulating effect desired by lawmakers. On the plus side, funds will be disbursed; and companies wishing to strategically invest in stimulus-associated markets will have at least a little more time to get their ducks in a row.